Zoosk, the online dating community that launched in 2007 as a Facebook application, has raised an additional $6 million in funding. This is the third round of funding for Zoosk, and was led by existing investor Canaan Partners. The funding will go towards pushing Zoosk’s market share on a global scale, as well as adding to its team and roll out new products.
As we noted in an interview with Zook’s co-CEO Shayan Zadeh, the Zoosk application on Facebook witnessed rapid growth as a result of its aggressive user acquisition model. Having now reached a reported 30 million users as of June, the potential for Zoosk to further grow its user base as well as its advertising revenue has grown along with its success.
When it comes to Zoosk’s user base, the company has already been met with a certain amount of controversy in regards to the methods for which it gained so many users so quickly. It’s the nature of the beast for rapidly growing Facebook applications, and by the looks of it Zoosk has managed to survive many of the regulation and profile design changes that Facebook has manifested in the past year.
As far as advertising goes, this supplemental form of revenue has been part of its business model from very early on. The freemium model along with premium options for users topped off with advertising gives Zoosk multiple revenue streams as well as a flexible approach towards its next steps now that the company has gained its third round of funding. As part of the premium membership options, Zoosk offers virtual coins that can be used to purchase gifts and advertising.
This kind of flexibility is likely a necessary aspect for Zoosk as a Facebook application, given the benefits and limitations of having a dating app within a larger user network. Zadeh mentions some of these challenges in our interview with him, noting the ability to better connect people and share important information with them as an integrated app, while still needing to be concerned about each user’s privacy.